A second outing for Neskansie National Forest security officer Frank Carver and ranger Ginny Trask (Cold Tracks, 1991), this time gearing up for trouble when Charlie Zeller's right to clear-cut the Burnt Meadows area is approved by the courts--and when trouble quickly arrives with radical environmentalists Alan Breckenbridge and Rachel Davis, as well as dozens of Earth Action! members. Ward Tomasovic, a former comrade now working with Washington lawmakers to effect compromises between the warring sides, is also on hand- -and shot dead after his reasoned speechmaking. Whodunit? Alan hated him for having an affair with Rachel; Rachel despised him for dumping her; and Zeller, who 20 years back broke up Ward's romance with his daughter Debbie (a romance just lately rekindled), was the last person to see Ward alive. Then Alan is murdered, and Zeller confesses that Ward was his illegitimate son--and that he'd recently deeded the former Ney family holdings to him. More past history concerning the Neys comes to light--before Ginny must shoot to kill to wrap up the case. Lots of description of tree-spiking, clear-cutting, slash-and- burning, etc., and a deepening May-December romance for Ginny and Frank--but flawed by a flimsy plot and wispy, clichÇd characters.